MY IN-DEPTH VOYAGE through type history has been a boon, layering my decisions—even now—with a sense of scope and humility. You strive to shun anything gratuitous or banal, but success isn’t necessarily a given—it’s only a goal.
Any comment on a colleague’s layout usually involved a question: Does it sing? That became a sort of de facto mantra, something to strive for. Something I still ask myself. Meaning: Does it surprise? Does it catch the spirit of the writing? Does it make you want to read the article?
The consistently high level of Rolling Stone photography instilled in me a desire to achieve the same level in every other design project I ever had. Push the limits, explore the possibilities, never accept “good enough.” Now, if only clients felt the same way…
AT ROLLING STONE, after reading an article and before starting any design, there were always visits to the specimen books, or books with typographic title pages, or the newsstand, or to the Public Library, searching for any connections to history that could be brought into the present and adapted and modernized to best fit the subject of the article. But it was never about design for design’s sake—it all had to add up to a revelation. The goal was to maximize readability as well as provide an exciting environment for the reader.
We found a lot of the headline fonts in old specimen books, but since the complete alphabet was often missing, our resident typographer, Ann Pomeroy, had to deduce what the “Y” might look like, for example, then take the whole mess home and spend half the night drawing and inking a final word or headline at 200 percent. Slick. Fun. —Vincent Winter
The type of Rolling Stone
- The early days at Rolling Stone by John Williams and Lloyd Ziff
- Bringing history into the present by Vincent Winter
- We didn’t know it at the time, but this was a golden era by Mary Shanahan and Nancy Butkus
- Unbridled eclecticism by Fred Woodward
- Right font, right place, right time by Andy Cowles
- Like a Rolling Stone by Joe Hutchinson